• Short Summary

    The summit conference of the E.E.C. heads of state in Copenhagen was over-shadowed on Friday?

  • Description

    The summit conference of the E.E.C. heads of state in Copenhagen was over-shadowed on Friday (December 14th, 1973) by the unscheduled arrival of four Arab Foreign Ministers.

    The summit, initiated by the French leader, President Pompidou, and meant to be an informal gathering, quickly became a crucial conference on how to cope with the international oil embargo imposed by the Arab nations.

    The surprise arrival of the Arab ministers gave the Middle East oil producers on opportunity to reinforce their demands that Western Europe work constructively towards a peace settlement between Israel and her neighbours.

    Under the pressure imposed by the oil shortage and the worsening economic situation in Western countries, the meeting dragged on late into Saturday night as delegations wrangled over common policies and a united front.

    In a Joint statement after their meeting the European leaders agreed they should introduce measures to limit energy consumption in a "concerned and equitable manner".

    They also asked the E.E.C. Commission to draw up immediate proposals aimed at solving the energy crisis for western Europe.

    However after a two and a half hour meeting with the European leaders, the four Arab ministers said current cuts in oil supplies to E.E.C. members would be absolutely enforced until the Europeans shoes "practical progress" towards a Middle East settlement.

    They said western Europe would have to bring great pressure on Israel and would have to be prepared to divest themselves of control over Arab countries.

    Closer economic and security links between the Arab world and Europe were also desirable.

    This film includes a statement by Mr. Pachachi, Minister of State of Abu Dhabi. A transcription appears below.

    SYNOPSIS: The two-day common Market summit conference in Copenhagen ended late on Saturday night with a united front, but overshadowed by the surprise arrival of four Arab foreign ministers.

    Despite two and a half hours of talks with the Arab emissaries and a common resolution on the energy crisis, the western European leaders were under strong pressure from the Arabs, who refused to ease their embargo. The Arabs described European fears of a recession as hypocritical, compared with the suffering in the Middle East. They demanded stronger action against Israel.

    The Arabs added that they hoped for much closer links with western Europe, including economic and security arrangements.

    In a statement at the end of the conference the E.E.C. leaders described the oil embargo as a threat to the entire world economy, affecting developed and developing nations. They asked the E.E.C. Commission to draw up plans immediately for Europe to combat the oil embargo and to share resources equitably.

    As the talks continued inside the conference centre, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside to express support for Israel. Many were Jewish. They carried placards declaring they suffered lack of heat and petrol to support Israel's cause. But their presence had little effect on the conference.

    After the conference the Arab ministers told reporters the oil embargo against the west would be resolutely maintained. Mr. Pachachi of Abu Dhabi gave reporters the Arab case.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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    Available on request
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